Jose and Aurora, two 60-year-old Filipino immigrants, were two of more than 600,000 people evacuated from the Philippines in 2014 when a massive typhoon devastated nearly 40 million people. Aurora, a nurse by trade, lacked the necessary credentials to work in the U.S., while Jose’s limited computer skills proved challenging in today’s job market. Goodwill’s Job Connection Center provided in-person and individualized job search assistance and counseling, skill and interest assessments, and helped with resume preparation and interviewing skills. With Goodwill’s help, Aurora secured a job as a personal care aide for a continuing care retirement community and Jose a janitorial position with the local Independent School District.
Eboni is the youngest of three children. “Children with disabilities are the most beautiful children, but they are also more vulnerable, ” said Eboni’s mother. Goodwill understands Eboni’s needs, providing a haven for her to learn and grow. Each day, Eboni is surrounded by people who understand the uniqueness and obstacles of individuals with disabilities, the pain of isolation and the healing power of inclusion in our community. Goodwill gives Eboni a sense of pride and of self-worth through work.
At age five, Chris and his father were involved in a horrific car accident, which left him with permanent brain damage and fatherless. Aware at an early age of the challenges that he might face, Chris continued through adolescence and adulthood with the belief that he would not be held back by his disability. It was difficult to keep a job, so Chris turned to Goodwill Dallas for help. Since 2004, Chris has been employed in Goodwill’s Donated Goods Program. He grows stronger and more independent every day.
Shay, age 17, was born into generational poverty. One of five children, her mother was only fourteen years old when she gave birth to Shay. At the age of five, Shay began caring for her younger siblings, while her father worked two jobs and her mother a part-time job to make ends meet. Later removed from the home by CPS, Shay moved in with her grandmother, completed secondary school, but struggled in high school. At risk for making harmful choices, she turned to Goodwill’s GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program. GoodGuides® certified Mentors provided one-on-one and group mentoring activities to help Shay prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work alongside developing relationships with caring adults who helped her to see her strengths and connect to the community in a meaningful way.
Despite Damon’s battle with Crohn’s Disease, he desperately wanted to work to make a better life for himself. With zero access to a phone, internet, or email, no running water or electricity and no transportation, Damon did not know where to begin. He reached out to Goodwill for help. Goodwill’s Job Placement Specialist met with Damon once a week at a grocery store within one mile of his home, helping with resume writing, interviewing skills and applying for jobs. Several months later, Damon’s new future took shape as he secured a job in the warehouse of a local business within walking distance from his home. He has since opened his own bank account and now has a working telephone, water and electricity. His path ahead is much brighter thanks to his persistence and determination to find employment with the help of Goodwill.
Vicky, a hardworking woman in her mid-fifties, had over 20 years’ experience working in the hospitality industry when disaster struck. She suffered a severe accident leaving her unable to work and with overwhelming medical debt. When Vicky attempted to re-enter the workforce, she lacked the computer skills needed in today’s job market. As Vicky explained, “I had to find work, but I did not have a degree or the computer skills that my level of work now required. I needed to learn new skills.” Referred by a friend to Goodwill Dallas, Vicky completed Goodwill’s Computer Literacy Program. Confident in her newfound abilities, she stated, “with Goodwill there was never the question of ‘if’ I would get a job, but rather ‘when’ I would get a job.” Very shortly after leaving Goodwill, Vicky secured a job as a receptionist and is now well on her way back to self-sufficiency.
Michael, age 42, grew up in the projects of West Dallas and suffers from schizophrenia. One of seven children, he spent most of his childhood caring for his siblings. Upon coming to Goodwill in 2017, Michael had not held a job within the last 10 years. Goodwill’s Computer Literacy Program helped Michael to stand out amongst the work applicants improving his professional attire, building a professional resume and preparing with mock interviews. Michael recently accepted a position as a Customer Service Representative.
Paul, age 52, worked for Goodwill for twenty-seven years in Goodwill’s Donated Goods Program. When Paul came to Goodwill he could barely speak and when he did, you could often not understand him. Quiet, reserved and often overwhelmed by interactions with others, his family feared that he was destined to live a life of isolation, misunderstood because of his disability. Goodwill offers a place to work and a place to belong, giving his single-mother peace of mind, but more importantly the ability for her to go out and earn an income to provide for their family.